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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #16
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guide to switching H264 decoders on Windows.

Here is how you figure out the decoder for use with HDLink :

Convert a HG10 video ( MTS ) that has lots of left right panning with HDLink. Be sure to go into the prefs menu and select the progressive box, and the 3:2 pulldown box. Make a Quicktime.
Play it with Quicktime player from Apple. Pause the video in places with panning and look for 'combing' or double frames. If you have none, you are set, stop here!
If you do see the problem, then download a free copy of graphedit. Drag the MTS video into graphedit. It will show a window of a schematic of how windows will play the video. You will see what decoder it is using in there. it will show video-in and video-out pins. Now, you may be able to set correct options in that decoder by right clicking so you may be able to shut off it's de-interlace. The de-interlace by the decoder is the whole problem, it screws up the video stream before HDLink can work on it.
So if you can't fix it there, in graphedit, you have to see what other h264 decoders you may have.
For this, you use DSFMgr.exe.

Download a free copy of DSFMgr.exe . This tool organizes the codecs , among other things. Go into the catagory "DirectShow Filters" and see what has H264 decoding. They almost always say H264 in the DisplayName listing.
You can lower the 'merit' of a filter you want to stop using. Merit is the priority rank of the decoder, the chance it will be used. You can also remove the decoder by hitting 'remove selected filter'. By this , it means it is taking it off the systems list for sure. You can reenable it by 'register new filter' , be sure to take note of what filter you are working on.
Of course, if there are no alternate filters for decoding H264, then you are stuck.
Check your work by dragging the MTS video back into graphedit again. If there was an alternate decoder, it will now show as the decoder in graphedit.
On my system, I disabled the 'powerdvd' decoder, and the Mainconcept one was used in its place. HDLink works for me now.

There really should be a better way to do this, I know.
I hope this helps, it really feels good to see nice progressive frames in a time line without all that interlace.
-Les


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Would be nice to have some step by step instruction on how to isolate and use the codec for Cineform use. Think I got the gist from your prior post, but would be nice to have a little more detail.

Last edited by Les Dit; October 19th, 2007 at 03:26 AM.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 02:48 AM   #17
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Les: I Googled Mainconcept AVCHD encoder on the internet, and found that it had been licensed to Corel... So it seems to me that the codec you are having success with may have come from the Ulead program provide by Canon.

I have a lot of .mpeg4 type encoders on my system but nothing shows H264.

When I try to convert the .mts file you provided in HDLink, I get a not supported message. So I assume it is because I do not have that program and codecon board.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #18
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So far, my work flow to get AVCHD to Cineform is still through Vegas.

1. Import the AVCHD file to a 1080i HDV time line in Vegas

2. Render the file as a 60i .m2t file.

3. In HDLink, load the file in the convertor to 24p .

This gave me what looked like a pretty good file from Les's file above.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
So far, my work flow to get AVCHD to Cineform is still through Vegas.

1. Import the AVCHD file to a 1080i HDV time line in Vegas

2. Render the file as a 60i .m2t file.

3. In HDLink, load the file in the convertor to 24p .

This gave me what looked like a pretty good file from Les's file above.
Chris - what settings do you use in HDLink? When I looked, there seemed to be a few that would be of interest: pulldown but also a resizing one. I don't have the software in front of me right now, so can't give you the specific options, but all I'm really interested in is which boxes you checked.
Also, does it make sense to pre-convert to 24p and edit that way in Vegas or is there a particular reason for editing 60i and then converting?
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #20
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<question removed>
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sayed View Post
Chris - what settings do you use in HDLink? When I looked, there seemed to be a few that would be of interest: pulldown but also a resizing one. I don't have the software in front of me right now, so can't give you the specific options, but all I'm really interested in is which boxes you checked.
Also, does it make sense to pre-convert to 24p and edit that way in Vegas or is there a particular reason for editing 60i and then converting?
This is my reasoning:

1. I know Vegas does not do HV20 pulldown properly. It is my understanding, it doesn't do it on HG10 footage either, because Canon, deeming these cameras consumer hasn't seen fit to include proper flags in the footage to allow the editors to recognize. We also know that both HV20 and HG10 lay their 24p in the 1080 60i stream.

2 So my first attempts were convert AVCHD file directly in Cineform. Cineform would not convert, with codecs I have on board. So I went back into Vegas, layed the AVCHD on the 1080 60i time line, and render that to a 1080 60i .m2t stream that I know Cineform will convert in the same way I convert HV20 captured .m2t files.

3. Why not just select 24p Cineform in Vegas to render to ? Because, the flags aren't there to do it properly and the rendered files are not right, from what I can tell.

I am curious if David Newman has any thoughts on this-- David ??

(Man, if you guys get me too interested in this, I might end up buying one of these cameras yet.....)
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Old October 19th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #22
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More on my reasoning..

Re: Setting In HDLink.

When converting HV20 footage, either from camera, or after capturing, per David Newman, I select Progressive, and 3-2 pulldown.

I could obviously edit in AVCHD, and deal with a jumpy preview. But that defeats one of the main purposes of Cineform, to provide a stable editing file that can be edited and color corrected with significantly less loss at rerender !

I still would rather directly convert in HDLink, because adding the step stinks, and I might as well stay with capture from the HV20 instead.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sayed View Post
Also, does it make sense to pre-convert to 24p and edit that way in Vegas or is there a particular reason for editing 60i and then converting?
Editing 60i then converting to 24p has a range issues-- primarily is you edits don't fall on 24p boundaries (only 20% probability) when remove the pulldown later, you will have many issues (most tools will just give up.) This is also an issue for producing DVDs, progressive players will try and detect the pulldown and get it wrong on most of your cut. If you add dissolves in 60i mode, you have removing any changes of correcly removing pulldown. My position is, never edit 24p as 60i.

As for support AVCHD camera, simply download a decoder like Elecards, which has a trail version : http://www.elecard.com/products/prod...r/mpeg-player/ Or for a less expensive solution, I've had good luck with CoreAVC Professional Edition at $15. In both cases you want to make sure the deinterlacing is turned off.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #24
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David Newman:

I will try one of the codecs.

But meantime, if I was just taking the AVCHD file without adding any edit, and convert it to a 60i .m2t file in Vegas, am I preserving things so Cineform can do a proper pull down job ?
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Old October 19th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
David Newman:

I will try one of the codecs.

But meantime, if I was just taking the AVCHD file without adding any edit, and convert it to a 60i .m2t file in Vegas, am I preserving things so Cineform can do a proper pull down job ?
Yes, but why render to M2T, too great a quality hit. You could export to 60i CineForm than import that into HDLink and convert it to 24p.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #26
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Thanks David, didn't realize that would work....
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Old October 25th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #27
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Starting the isolation process...

OK, I'm at the point where I need some assistance. I'm way new at all this, so please feel free to correct me wherever I'm off-base. I'm trying to isolate the minimum items needed to get Cineform Neo HDV to work, and have been unsuccessful so far. This is really aimed at the "amateur" videographer who is on their own personal family-budget and not the professional who may already have several pieces needed already in their toolkit. The goal is to get good 24p output from Cineform Neo HDV with minimal cost. Here is the situation:

---------------
Try 1:
1) New install of Windows XP Professional
2) Neo HDV 3.1.2 installed

HDLink would not work with a message:
"Format not supported"

GraphEdit gave the following error when loading in the .MTS:
"Could not construct a graph from this file.
-Have you installed all necessary filters?
-Note that the 'Render File' menu option cannot render *.GRF files
Cannot play back the file. The format is not supported. (Return code: 0x80040265)

Lessons learned:
1) Cineform Neo HDV does not come with its own AVCHD filters for converting the .MTS files
2) The PowerDVD filters are not successful with Neo HDV (per Les Dit)
3) The Mainconcept filters are successful with Neo HDV (per Les Dit but cost $590!!! from http://www.mainconcept.com/site/cons...formation.html)

Questions:
1) What (less expensive) filters are needed to convert using Neo HDV?
2) Are the Mainconcept filters included with the HG10 software (Corel Application software)?

---------------
Try 2:
1) New install of Windows XP Professional
2) Neo HDV 3.1.2 installed
3) Corel Apps from Canon HG10 disc installed

HDLink "successfully" converts Les Dits 24p test file, with the message:
"Convert done".

Playback of the output file yields unacceptable "stuttering" in the video, proving that the stuttering is NOT a myth (at least if you don't have the right filters, which seem to be rather hard to find or cost $$$$$).

Graphedit shows active filters:
"Ulead MPEG Splitter"

connecting video to:
"InterVideo Video Decoder"
which ends at:
"Video Renderer"

and AC3 audio to:
"InterVideo Audio Decoder"
which ends at:
"Default DirectSound Device"

Lessons Learned:
1) Cineform Neo HDV produces a 1920x1080 .AVI output file
2) The filters shipped with the HG10 are, by default, unable to work in conjunction with Neo HD for quality 24p output
3) Neo HDV output .AVIs will not play on a machine with no Cineform components
4) The Mainconcept filters are NOT included with the HG10 software
5) The Ulead software that comes with the HG10 will not output a 24p file, all output is 60i (a la AVCHD on DVD-R) (so the 24p stays "hidden" in the fields of the 60i)

Questions:
1) What (less expensive) filters are needed to convert using Neo HDV?
2) Can the InterVideo filters be tweaked somehow to work correctly? (Zero additional cost solution)

---------------

I've put some of the relevant files from this "mini project" into an FTP folder if anyone wants to see them. Some have been already made available further up in this thread, and you'd be better off D/Ling them from those locations, but I wanted a complete set in one spot for my own purposes. This is my personal web/ftp server, which has slow upload speeds, so be gentle and be prepared to wait a bit for the larger DLs. Also, I will take this offline when necessary so links should not be considered "permanent":
Try 1 application in/outs: ftp://66.66.199.125/Cineform/XP-Cineform.pdf
Try 2 application in/outs: ftp://66.66.199.125/Cineform/XP-Cineform-HG10.pdf
Les Dit's test file (available earlier in the thread): ftp://66.66.199.125/Cineform/cinemode-PF24.MTS
David Newman's converted file (available earlier in the thread): ftp://66.66.199.125/Cineform/cinemode-PF24.avi
My (badly) converted file: ftp://66.66.199.125/Cineform/cinemode-PF24-001.avi

So that's where I'm at right now. The main question still resoves around what filters on the machine will actually work for the conversion.

My next move is to try some other filters by using DSFMgr to lower the probablity the currently-used components will be utilized so we try the "next" component until I "run out" on the machine. After that I will start over, and try some of the solutions suggested by David Newman, elecard or CoreAVC. I'm new to GraphEdit and DSFMgr so I am probably not the best at figuring out how to configure them...but I'll give it my best shot.

Les originally suggested that perhaps (de)-interlacing was the problem with the PowerDVD filters, but he couldn't shut it off. I wonder if the same applies to the Ulead/InterVideo filters, does someone more knowledgable than me know how to check if it's possible to turn off the de-interlacer in these filters?

Here are some "off-the-cuff" notes on this stuff as well (just for fun):

1) This trial and error stuff sucks
2) It would be nice if the manufacturers would actually give you the software you should be entitled to with their hardware ("hiding" 24p inside 60i inside AVCHD is the big problem here)
3) It would be nice if a "Full HD" camcorder actually recorded "FULL HD" at 1920x1080 instead of truncating the 1920x1080 from the sensor down to 1440x1080 (which I've now verified for myself, personally, that the HG10 does in every mode - I'm guessing Canon "couldn't be bothered" changing things from the HV20 since AVCHD actually DOES allow 1920x1080 video in the spec. Look for their next generation HDD consumer cam to include "REAL Full HD", and prepare to part with another $1,000 of your savings if you want it. On the upside, the picture is still very nice, but the misleading marketing MUST STOP. What good is a 1920x1080 sensor if it's getting chopped down?)

Thanks for any assistance,

mike@slavis.com
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #28
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You went to the wrong location for your AVCHD decoder, than $590 is for an encoder application. Here is the Elecard AVCHD decoder $70 http://www.elecard.com/products/prod...r/mpeg-player/

Also CoreAVC works at $15, but requires the deinaterlace be turned off in the filter, and Core has been unreliable for purchasing licenses in the past (which I hope is behind them.)

NEO HDV is only licensed to 1440x1080.
NEO HD is licensed to 1920x1080.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #29
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Thanks

David,

Thanks for setting me straight on that. I tried to google Mainconcept AVCHD and that's what I came up with. Sounds like, at this point, I should "write off" the Mainconcept AVCHD filter anyway, especially since Les doesn't even know where he got it from!

Again, I'm no expert with this stuff, but I'm gleaning from your post that I should definitely have success with the $70 Elecard decoder, and most likely even with the $15 CoreAVC Pro decoder (with deinterlacing turned off - I'll have to try and figure out how to do that). CoreAVC available here: http://www.coreavc.com/index.php?opt...d=21&Itemid=59
I almost wonder if the "standard" version at $8 would be better since it states it doesn't handle interlacing anyway so there would be no need to turn of deinterlacing (although this may render it unable to pull out the 24p from the 60i stream AND the "standard" version doesn't take advantage of Symmetric Multi-Processing). Off-topic, I use CorePlayer Mobile on my Dell Axim and it's pretty awesome, so I have no problems giving them another $15.

I also realize that Cineform makes tools for Pros to use, and is overkill for a home user, but I'm confused by the licensing and the results I found with Neo HDV. I assumed the 1440x1080 specified for Neo HDV was for the input. When I ran HDLink from Neo HDV (I double-checked that I installed HD(V) and not HD) on the Les Dit source file (which played under Media Player with 1440x1080 resolution) and ran the resultant (albeit stuttering) .AVI through Media Player, it played with 1920x1080 resolution, telling me that the conversion actually resulted in 1920x1080 output (which is, incidentally, what I'm looking for). I also played the file you converted, and it also showed 1920x1080 resolution with smooth playback. Is that right? Am I correct that Neo HDV (along with a working codec/filter) is what I need to get my progressive frames out of the stream?

Thanks again,

mike@slavis.com
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Old October 25th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #30
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Are you sure you aren't confusing display resolution from encoded resolution? NEO HDV is 1440x1080 max, yet will set the pixel aspect ratio to display a 1440 encode as 1920. For professionals this is important, for hobbiests much less so. So far all the HG10 sample I have is only 1440x1080 encoded at the source.

I doubt the $8 CoreAVC will work, as you need to decode interlace completely if you want to remove pulldown, and it doesn't seem to support that. At $15 the pro version is a good deal.
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